A Light in the Sky by Shina Reynolds is the first book in a new YA dystopian/fantasy series that will be published November 9th. I really enjoyed this book and it is an awesome debut for Reynolds.
Seventeen-year-old Aluma Banks has always dreamed of soaring freely through the skies astride a powerful winged steed of her own. But flying is a privilege granted only to the Riders of the king’s Empyrean Cavalry, the aerial warriors who defend the borders of their land from the fallen Kingdom of Laithlann.
Each year, Rider hopefuls across Eirelannia compete in the Autumn Tournament for the honor of joining the Cavalry. Aluma, trained to ride and fight by her retired Empyrean Rider father, knows she has what it takes to prove herself worthy—if only her father hadn’t forbidden her from joining their ranks, in the hope of protecting his only daughter from the perils of war. To make matters worse, Thayer, Aluma’s best friend who could be becoming something more, is competing—and if he wins, he’ll leave her behind.
When Aluma’s father is tragically injured just before the Tournament, she finds herself unexpectedly thrust into this year’s competition. But as Aluma begins to pursue her dreams, she learns devastating secrets about the king and his never-ending war with Laithlann. In her quest for the truth, Aluma discovers a power deep within herself that may be the only way to save Eirelannia and the people she loves from the darkness that threatens to consume them all.
This book is so good! There is so much to love and I can’t believe it’s a debut. I can’t wait to jump into the next book in the series, I need to know what happens!
This book is extremely plot driven and I loved the plot. It’s well thought out and has a lot of action. It had bits that reminded me of various YA novels but all ones that I loved (Divergent, ACOTAR, Hunger Games) and then with a bit of a twist that is all this book so it stands on its own. The plot itself was wonderful. There were a couple twists that were definitely predictable but some that weren’t and once the story got going, it never let up.
The reason for 4 stars instead of 5 is the characters, especially Aluma. She is missing the heart and personality that would make me really fall in love with this story. Terrible things happen to her family and she has basically no reaction except doing what they tell her to. I needed more than that to really want to route for her. Totally angry and wanting revenge, I could get behind. Totally devastated and just going through the motions, I could get behind. But just sort of saying she’s sad without showing it and no real anger, it felt lacking. Her relationships with Thayer and Gattacan felt lacking for the same reason, Aluma had a personality issue. This got better towards the end but even still, she never felt totally like a real person with feelings.
Overall, I really enjoyed this. The characters got better by the end and I definitely want to read the next one.
* I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.